Re: Phil Skell replies to David Campbell

From: Pim van Meurs <>
Date: Wed Sep 21 2005 - 13:32:00 EDT

Ted Davis wrote:

>Phil has asked me to post this. (He prefers not to join the list himself at
>the moment, but he is interested in what we think of his op-ed piece.)
> David Campbell's very learned exegesis of Mayr's description misses
>the point that paleontology and modern experimental biology provide
>enormously disparate data.
What Skell does not seem to realize is that when data points are
limited, hypotheses become contentious and often hard to resolve.
However many of the issues which were _quoted_ by Mayr as issues brought
up by proponents of a particular hypothesis, have been resolved by
recent science. 4 years can be a lot of time in fast moving areas of

>His digression into chemistry is almost totally non-relevant, since biology
>is concerned with unique individual organisms, no two of which are
>identical in the sense that two samples of the same chemical are identical.
>Further, Darwin's theory was based on evidence most of which is lost and
>forever inaccessible to experimental tests, while chemistry and its
>theories are grossly different in this respect.
That's silly. Darwin's theory was based on the available data of his
time, and more data has become available often in indirect ways.

>Nobels for Physiology/Medicine deal almost entirely with Biology. Darwin's
>"theory" is mainly metaphysically-based speculation about matters lost in
>deep-time, and makes only meddlesome contributions to experimental
>biology. Phil

I find Skell's comments to be mostly lacking much foundation in logic or
reality. Sigh
Received on Wed Sep 21 13:32:23 2005

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